I was driving through a local neighborhood yesterday and saw a woman raking leaves in her front yard. I thought it a bit odd that she was raking in July, but I guess it was o.k. since the leaves were still. in. the. tree. Imperius curse? It’s really the only reason I can figure for raking healthy, green leaves out of a tree, but I’m sure those who actually spend time doing yard work would argue.
Friday night we all dressed up (except for McH) and went to a couple Harry Potter events. A little town not too close and not too far from here shut down part of its main street (ahem . . . the part with the book store) and turned it into Diagon Alley. The actual alley behind that section of main street was, you guessed it, Knocturn Alley. I’m sure it would have been loads of fun had there not been ten million people scrunched into a one block area designed to accommodate about 150, and/or had we not been trying to push a stroller through said throngs of people.
But really, I’m not complaining. Well, not too much. We got to see a dementor, and a mastiff with three heads, and some thestrals. Best of all? I make a great auror. Purple/pink hair looks hot on me. At least, that’s how I’m interpreting McH’s reaction when he came home from work and saw my new do. My mother’s reaction was a bit different (thank goodness). I don’t know if she was more shocked that my hair was purple or that I’d chosen to dress up as a character named Nymphodora.
Church was interesting since not all of the purple has yet washed out of my hair. What is it with women? Why don’t they just say, “Hey E., why the heck is your hair purple?” But no, that would be too easy. Instead they see the hair, do the furtive glance, flash the big, effusive smile which indicates their belief that extreme niceness in my direction should help me overcome my unspeakable insanity, and then speak to me as if I am standing there without purple hair and a coordinating outfit to match. (Yes, I dressed to match my hair. Wouldn’t you if your hair were purple?) This is why most of my friends have always been male. Males don’t stand there weighing whether or not questioning someone about her purple hair would be offensive. Males just blurt it out, like they should, if they even notice in the first place. Anyhoo . . .
After our foray into Diagon Alley we brought back the two little kids and the muggle dad, then the older girls and I went to a store to stand in line and buy the book. We passed the time playing with the unbelievably overpriced wands I bought them. If you flick the wands or tap them on something, they light up. You can push a button to make the light get brighter or darker. I kept tapping it on my brother’s bald head and showing the kids how the light reflected. I think it all helped endear us to our college-aged line neighbors who loaned the kids pens and then sat on the floor and did Harry Potter crosswords and word searches with them.
L~ won first prize in the store’s costume contest. I was so happy for her because she always hangs back from games and contests for fear she will lose. I want to help her learn to play just for the fun of playing, not winning, but so far I haven’t had much success. Probably because I know how she feels. It’s not that I’m terribly competitive or that I need to feel better than others; it’s just that I’ve always felt like I’m never supposed to fail at anything. That’s L~. She’s not worried about beating others, just about not failing.
Anyway, L~ won and A~ didn’t, but, despite her disappointment, A~ handled it with incredible grace. Really she didn’t have time to brood much because right after they handed out the prizes the line started moving and we had our books in hand. Yes, we bought two copies and there was some reading by wand light that night.
In this world there are illiterate folks, there are readers, there are speed readers, and then there is A~, a freak reader. She had the book finished by 12:45 Saturday afternoon. No, she didn’t stay up all night reading, though she had read about 130-140 pages by the time I sent her to bed at 1:30 a.m. She even took a break for about half an hour Saturday morning to go play with friends when part of the book got too sad.
I read the whole thing Saturday as well, though I didn’t finish as early as A~. But I won’t tell you about it. I won’t even tell you if my theories were right or wrong. I’ll just say that I loved most of it. I still have a few lingering questions and points of discussion I may bring up in a week or so, but not now. See? I’m nice. I don’t want to ruin it for anybody: freak reader, speed reader, reader or illiterate.
Though I think my continued efforts to wash the purple out of my hair are ruining it for McH.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says “Wotcher!”
P.S. I did not double check spellings on any of my Harry Potter vernacular, so please don’t curse me if I got something wrong. I was up in the middle of the night cleaning up imported puke (cousins visiting) and am just too lazy to do any real editing.